Thursday, 20 August 2009

A beauty pilgrimage to the Isle of Wight

Fact: the Liz Earle shop on the Isle of Wight (a short stroll from Ryde Pier, up Union Street) attracts 20,000 visitors a year. Well, make that 20,001: yesterday, Jo dropped in for a visit, and to have lunch with Kim Buckland - Liz Earle’s lovely and very clever business partner, a bit of an unsung heroine in this fast-growing British beauty business. So: here’s Kim’s moment of well-deserved glory, smiling (as well she should) beside the completely fabulous new Superskin products. (Think: luscious body cream, bust and décolletage treatment, and a great new lip-and-eye product. Our skins are gratefully lapping these up…) Turns out there’s one customer who even stays opposite, so she can visit the store every day. Frankly, so would we - if we only lived nearer…! On Jo's beauty wishlist? After a delicious garlic-laced lunch with Kim at the IOW's famous Garlic Farm restaurant, Liz Earle Naturally Active should definitely consider a botanical breath-freshener, for a bit of clever co-branding!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The real beauty secret of French women

As beauty editors, we really do practice what we preach. We are diligent about cleansing. We moisturise with religious devotion. And we glug water constantly. So when Jo got the day’s highest score for skin hydration - 34.3% - at a demo of their new on-counter skin analysis system by Darphin, she was entitled to feel the teensiest bit smug, especially as she’s twice the age of most of the other beauty eds. who pitched up. (NB This photo is of Jo’s skin, blown up to many times its actual size, on their computer.) Darphin had some lovely things to show us. 31 new treatments, to be launched later this year at their salons. Delectable new facial oils (we are LOVING 8-Flower Nectar) and a ‘Stimulskin’ serum regime, for twice-a-year skin-firming blitz. But what really fascinated us was talking to Darphin’s Aurélie Doisneau, who works on this French brand (now owned by Lauder), about the beauty secrets of Frenchwomen. For instance: how long, Jo pondered, did Aurélie spend on her evening cleanse/tone/moisturise regime? The smooth-skinned Darphin ambassador smiled. ‘Half an hour.’ (Which means there probably isn’t even a French word for ‘cleansing wipe’.) Now that’s devotion…!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

V-v-v-v-e-r-y e-x-c-i-t-i-n-g-g-g

That’s what happens when you try to type with a vibrating mascara in one hand. Well, not really. But no sooner had we been musing about which budget beauty brand would be first to launch a vibrating mascara - territory claimed at the top end of the market by Lauder and Lancôme - than Maybelline were first past the post with Pulse Perfection, launching this month (August) at Boots for £14.99. (At the same Sanderson Hotel event, they also showed us Color Sensational: 26 shades of lip-quenching colour - and it was definitely the first time we’ve watched a burlesque striptease at a beauty launch!) Still, it’s Pulse Perfection that got us buzzing - and Maybelline New York make-up artist Fiona Jolly agrees: ‘I was cynical about vibrating mascaras. But I’m such a convert that honestly, I predict that within five years there won’t be a non-vibrating type, because they do all the work, wiggling the wand from root to tip!’

Monday, 10 August 2009

Paradise found - in Soho...

Don’t be deceived by the bird-of-paradise eyeshadow this model was wearing when Beauty Bible dropped by Bourjois’s autumn preview event at the Sanctum Hotel (Soho’s new ‘party’ hotel, where nobody minds if you stay up all night playing music in your room, because that’s the whole idea). We saw lots to love in the rooftop suite invaded by Bourjois for the day, including a flattering new shade of Ombre Stretch - Sarah’s favourite eyeshadow - in Taupe Froid. But what really got us excited was the launch of Bourjois’s cleansing range - including a dual-phase Express Eye Make-up Remover which is one of the very few on the planet that hasn’t irritated Jo’s so-sensitive eyes, and which removes every last atom - EVERY LAST ATOM! - of mascara, with no rubbing. All the cleansers are fabulous - and all under a fiver. Now that’s beautiful.